It didn’t take long to realise how much I’ve missed the hustle and bustle of a big city! A city that chews you up and spits you out.
We landed at Luton airport around 4pm and after the hour drive to our Air BnB located across from Victoria Station, it was already pitch black. We settled with a quick dinner at trusty Nandos before we crashed for the night.
We woke up to a beautiful, crisp London day and we’re so ready to explore! This is my first time to London but Ihaia has been a couple of times before. Staying right across the road from Victoria Station is so ideal, the whole trip we caught the underground everywhere which was a no brainer as the one time we did get an Uber, we were stuck in traffic the whole way. The underground got us everywhere we needed to go in literally less than 10mins like the walk to the actual train was probably longer than the train ride itself, lol. We start the sunny day with breakfast at Duck & Waffle that I came across on Instagram and boy it DID NOT disappoint! Its a 24/7 restaurant at 40 floors, 230m up. The transparent lift starts the views and we were seated at a corner table so got a double view while dining. The interior, food, service and views were 10/10 and I’ll definitely go back for dinner next time! Then we caught the train to the London Eye which was cool, definitely a must do once in ya life type thing but I did find it expensive for what it is and the view we just had at breakfast was just as good. Heights aren’t my favourite but I felt super safe and secure and you share a pod with about 15 others. Big Ben across the way had scaffolding covering it and I think its getting worked on until 2020 so we lucked out on that! Next we hit the shops, we walked through Oxford Street, Selfridges and Harrods. Christmas is already in full swing through the streets and shops and I’m all for it, the most magical time of the year! While we were in Harrods, we went our seperate ways and I got so lost all I could concentrate on was getting out and when I finally found an exit, it was in a totally different place to where I entered lol. We grabbed lunch at a PUB which is so English, right?! Then went back to the AirBnB to get ready for a night at the theatre to see Lion King. This is where we had our Uber mistake, there was so much traffic that we got out 1.5km away and ran the rest of the way to the theatre! Ok, Lion King was seriously AMAZING. We loved every single second. Full stop. The actors, singing, stage set… everything was AMAZING.
The next morning we caught the train to Notting Hill and headed straight to Farm Girl for breakfast. It has cool interior but we didn’t rate the food. They are a “health conscious” cafe and I think it was vegetarian too (?) because the only bacon they served was “coconut bacon” that was literally just toasted coconut (??!!). After that we went for a look at lots of pastel houses and some markets down Portobello Road. I didn’t get any cool pictures that I wanted with the houses because of parked cars galore, bad lighting etc I’ll have to go back there one day and be more prepared! We then trained to Piccadilly Circus and went for a wander around the streets then back to Oxford for another look around the shops (theres not great shopping in La Rochelle ok so we’re making the most of it!). The Christmas lights down Oxford Street are so beautiful! We’re staying right down the road from Wicked the musical so we impulsively book tickets and head to another show that night. Wicked has great singing and so much talent! Another enjoyable musical.
Our last full day has us grabbing a good, big, filling brekky at Bills before we head to see Buckingham Palace. Unfortunately we didn’t catch a day where they were doing the changing of the guards but the place was swarming with tourists! Then we’re off to watch All Blacks vs England at Twickenham which is also my first All Blacks game I’ve been too. The weather unfortunately packs in and rains during and after the game but its such a great atmosphere being amongst the other 80,000+ fans and Prince Harry lol! Our friends that we met at the Blues in Auckland, Amanda and Piers, who now live in Northampton, have travelled down to spend the night with us and it was so good to see them! We got drinks and dinner out and have a huge catch up which is so nice. I appreciate all the friends we’ve made through rugby that are dotted all over the globe.
The next morning we train to Gatwick airport and fly out at 11am. We land back in Bordeaux and before driving back to La Rochelle we’re PICKING UP OUR PUPPYYYYYYY!!! But thats a whole other blog to come :):). So thank you London, for your hustle and bustle, for the great food and shopping, for getting to explore another part of the world and to be able to communicate everywhere in English! I had the best time and I’m sure to be back, lucky its in such easy reach of France. Check out the “travel” highlight on my Instagram for more pics and vids of London.
Until the next adventure! XO